Saving Lives in Domestic Violence Situations
The government calls it intimate partner violence or IPV; some incidents seep into the workplace with disastrous results. Most of us call it domestic violence; all of us say we must help people caught in such heartbreaking and dangerous situations.
There are shocking numbers of reported incidents, while most still go unreported. According to U.S. Department of Justice figures, nearly 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence occur each year among U.S. women ages 18 and older, and 3.2 million occur among men. Most assaults are relatively minor and consist of pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping and hitting. In the United States every year, about 1.5 million women and more than 800,000 men are raped or physically assaulted by an intimate partner. This translates into about 47 assaults per 1,000 women and 32 assaults per 1,000 men. Intimate partner violence results in nearly 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths nationwide every year.
Public, Private ActionIn recent years, public and private organizations have taken action. And recently one program was honored for its efforts during an April National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by the Justice Department. The Zalud Report has been covering the honored program for many years and it deserves yet another sincere thank you.
ADT Security Services, Inc., a unit of Tyco Fire & Security, received the 2007 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week award for the ADT AWARE program. ADT has worked to assist domestic violence victims through AWARE (Abused Women’s Active Response Emergency) since 1992. The program is credited with helping save 31 lives.
ADT received the Allied Professional Award, given by the Office of Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice and presented by the U.S. Attorney General. The award recognizes individuals from a specific discipline outside the victim assistance field for service to victims and contribution to the crime victim’s arena.
“Providing support to survivors of domestic abuse is one of the ways ADT is giving back to the communities we serve. Around-the-clock monitoring can offer peace of mind to individuals and their families as they break the cycle of domestic violence,” John Koch, president, ADT Security Services, told the Zalud Report.
At a local level, the security firm works with law enforcement and social service agencies to administer the program. The local community agencies assess the needs of potential participants assuring they meet the following three basic criteria: the victim must be in imminent danger of attack, have a restraining order or other active order of protection against the abuser and must be willing to prosecute and testify against the batterer in court if the batterer is apprehended through the use of the system, according to Ann Lindstrom of ADT.
Panic AlarmsAfter those who meet the criteria are placed in the program, the security firm installs and monitors, at no charge, security systems in each of their homes and provides them with emergency necklace pendants for as long as the need exists. The pendants can send a silent alarm, when activated, to a customer monitoring center.
If a person involved in the program feels in imminent danger of attack, he or she presses either the pendant or the emergency button on the security system panel mounted in their home. Operators can then alert the appropriate law enforcement agency that an AWARE call has been received. Officers, already briefed on the specific situation, will then be dispatched to the victim’s residence on a priority basis.
The AWARE program is active in 177 U.S. communities and, through its sister program, DVERS (Domestic Violence Emergency Response System), the program is offered in 41 locations in Canada.
Security Magazine honors this program and congratulates the company on its long-running and successful record of service. Corporations and their security operations also have local programs. Please email me with your program so I can provide coverage, too.
The Victims’ Right Week “represents a time to remember and honors those who have suffered at the hands of criminals,” said U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. “The award recipients we are recognizing have demonstrated the commitment and dedication it takes to ensure that all victims are heard, and not forgotten. Many of these recipients work tirelessly, unrecognized and behind the scenes, and I am honored to bring their work to the forefront.”